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HE-5..initial musings - Page 81

post #1201 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
It was a good combo, indeed.

Don't get me wrong - I think the HE-5 are terrific cans. But Wower asked for the negatives, however slight, and so that is what I described.
I see your signature says you have the HiFiMAN HE-2. Is that a different headphone or just a typo?
post #1202 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by wower View Post
GRRRAAAAAHHHH!!

Sometimes I hate this hobby. Where is my perfect phone? I'm so happy with my currect single ended rig. I CAN/COULD be happy with it for years to come as I save up for the next big big big upgrade to 'stats. However, I really want a phone with a different sound sig than my AD2000 to spice it up in the interm. The HE-5 looks so promising because it uses another technology. I think it will have realistic weight and more soundstage than the AD2000 when I want to switch it up but I wanted warmer bass. Maybe I should reinvestigate the D7000 which has loads of bass and clean highs but sucked out mids. The exact opposite of AD2000s beautiful mids. Both the D7000 and HE-5 have the benifit of not breaking the bank while saving. Ack! Where is my perfect homephone? Thanks all.
Your perfect headphone is as close as your nearest meet!

I'd say see if there's someone near you that has an HE-5 and give it a go, if not, swing by a meet and try as many headphones as possible! I thought my K601 had great mids, but boy was it a shocker when I got the HE-5. The constant in this hobby is that you really don't know how good something sounds until you try something else.

Best of luck!
post #1203 of 1668
Hey guys,

The only way for me to see for myself is to buy a dac to accompany my HE-5/EF-5 since it makes me sick using my mac... I am running out of funds due to the purchase of the combo, but I had my eyes set on the Nuforce Dac that has some people really fired up... Has anybody used this dac with the above mentioned combination? I know this dac is not really top end, just entry, but the price seems good, and I think it would destroy my mac as being a dac... Thanks, and would love to post my impressions with my first dedicated dac! cheers,
post #1204 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by wower View Post
Can someone give a breakdown of the negatives of this phone in regard to SQ? (The workmanship is an understandable risk with this type of product and I can live with it.)

Be ruthless! GO!
Oh crap, if people are thinking I'm old-school now...that's bad. There's a ton of gear I've never tried, so I can hardly compare myself to people like Skylab and HeadphoneAddict. The best I can do is recognise my limitations and point those out when I say anything so people can make informed choices about whether I'm talking out of my arse or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePio View Post
Hey Wower,

I may not have that much experience as the others you mentioned, but I do own the HE-5 and as much as I praise it, it does have some negative points, which could turn some people off... Here is what I think their negative points are:

- Soundstage is not that expansive, very closed,
- Balance is not optimal, some could complain about this,
- Detailed but not super detailed...
- Bass is adequate for me, but others may want more punch,
- Sometimes sound may seem congested,
- Sibilance may be an issue, not for my pair though...
- Some sharpness has been noted

I am not sure what else is there to fault, and this is truly nitpicking! Since some of these come down to personal preference, like the bass, soundstage etc... I am not sure what else to say, since this headphone easily has the goods to stand with best, considering the price at 600, find me something better? cheers and good luck...
I think MikePio was fairly spot-on, despite his poor source (been there, done that, used MB Quarts out of my Macs for 15 years before I discovered Head-fi and now...Oh God...anyway..)

The soundstage is wide partly because of slightly recessed mids that give it such an illusion. That's the only area where Mike is arguably wrong, as a poor source will give the impression of a small soundstage IME and I have a DAC that has a frighteningly huge soundstage. I got beaten up saying they aren't the most ultra detailed and can't handle very fast, complex music, but it's evident with Shpongle or big and dramatic classical if you're paying attention. However, put this in perspective: My other headphones are arguably some of the fastest available: HD-800s, Symphones Magnums and Stax, and while the latter is another issue altogether, the former two cost 2.5x and 1.5x the cost, so it's hardly a complaint and it's not going to be an issue for most people. The main thing is that the HE-5s are for me the most extremely picky headphones when it comes to amping, as much or more so than the HD-800s. The treble peak is both great and an annoyance; great as it makes the sound more open and a curse with sibilance and fatigue. The bass will either be too boomy for some (most of it is mid-bass and is too much IMO on the wrong amp) or not enough for others as it rolls off towards the deep bass. As Skylab summarised nicely:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
They can be a little aggressive and bright in the mid-treble, and they have a tendency to get a little congested when the music gets complex. They also lack truly deep bass capability (the last octave is almost completely missing).
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePio View Post
Hey guys,

The only way for me to see for myself is to buy a dac to accompany my HE-5/EF-5 since it makes me sick using my mac... I am running out of funds due to the purchase of the combo, but I had my eyes set on the Nuforce Dac that has some people really fired up... Has anybody used this dac with the above mentioned combination? I know this dac is not really top end, just entry, but the price seems good, and I think it would destroy my mac as being a dac... Thanks, and would love to post my impressions with my first dedicated dac! cheers,
Now as for "most people", if we take HeadphoneAddict's suggestion on faith that the Nuforce uDAC + HE-5/EF-5 is the best $1000 rig he has heard then you're on the right track, and if people run out and buy this rig, then I'd predict most of them will have a very musical rig that they wont feel the desire to upgrade in a hurry and will require some serious investment to better. The downside will be that some will have issue with the tonality and the odd person like MikePio will quickly spot their flaws and might not like them.
post #1205 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoide View Post
I see your signature says you have the HiFiMAN HE-2. Is that a different headphone or just a typo?
Typo, sorry, just corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.
post #1206 of 1668
@Currawong I have a soft spot for people in Japan since I lived there for 4 years, only coming back recently, some of it overlapping with you, but way up north. And you have a headphone blog for goodness sakes!

This "most people" in quotes is kind of disturbing because one of my hopes is to use this phone with large scale classical, for example, Tchaikovsky. So I fall into that exact category that will come across large complex passages on this phone. My priorities are increase sound-staging over my AD2000 and maybe increase neutrality (but some of this might be recording dependent because my source is up to snuff). Ultimately I want a different presentation. The congestion issue is also interesting because my AD2000s are very good at resolving complex passages (again might be recording dependent). But last point is kind of moot until I've heard the HE-5. I'm just getting sick of my AD2000s awkward sound stage. Vocals are friggn' IN MY HEAD. And everything else, while being extremely foot-tappingly musical, is not located anywhere. Meets are preferred, hopefully February.
post #1207 of 1668
Ah, how quickly a headphone's aura of perfection vanishes around here. I hope I like them.
post #1208 of 1668
hehehehhe, so true Zoide, at first people are almost fanatical about the new cans, then weeks pass, and less is heard, then months and almost no discussions, then the flaws come out, and perfection is far from the truth... Though spending more time with the HE-5's I come to love those little flaws, as crazy as that sounds, some of my previous cans like the K701's, I just couldn't get over it. But with these, everything seems right, even if it isn't, just like the your perfect "dream" girl that happens to come your way, the only problem is that her nose is just a tad to big lol... but in the end, you have kids and live a happy life. Regretting nothing, similar here, its that type of headphone. I am almost completely confident you will enjoy! Good luck!
post #1209 of 1668
Hey guys -

So i took the advice of a lot of people here and I ordered the HE-5/EF-5 combo along with the uDac. I'll be running from a computer playing Apple Lossless. I have no true headphone hifi experience so I have nothing for reference.

Anyways I ordered the phones Jan 1 and my credit card was charged Jan 3. I have had no update from headdirect and no response to my inquiry of a shipping date. What should my expectations be for delivery to here in Wisconsin? Ive heard about 4-5 weeks but am unsure


Thanks,
Adam
post #1210 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Now as for "most people", if we take HeadphoneAddict's suggestion on faith that the Nuforce uDAC + HE-5/EF-5 is the best $1000 rig he has heard then you're on the right track, and if people run out and buy this rig, then I'd predict most of them will have a very musical rig that they wont feel the desire to upgrade in a hurry and will require some serious investment to better. The downside will be that some will have issue with the tonality and the odd person like MikePio will quickly spot their flaws and might not like them.
I amended that a little - that an SR-404LE connected to an eXStatA DIY amp would be about $1,100 and would compete well with and maybe beat the $899 EF5/HE-5 combo (before adding cost of the DAC). The problem is in the rarity of the eXStatA amp, as it is still in the second round of beta testing. I don't know if substituting a vintage SRM-1 Mk2 Pro amp for a similar price would sound as good, since the eXStatA is much more powerful (it can drive Stax O2 well and SRM-1 Mk2 Pro cannot).

As for the DAC, I have actually tried the EF5/HE-5 with the uDAC which I think works very well together, while the SR-404LE + eXStatA rig that I heard was with a $240 balanced OPUS DIY DAC. I suspect the uDAC would sound very good with the stat rig, and I might get around to trying the uDAC > eXStatA > SR-Lambda this weekend and that would be an $800 rig including the DAC. One thing that I like most about pairing the uDAC with EF5 is that I think the EF5's low gain is still too high, and the uDAC allows me to trim the volume level down further without impacting the sound.
post #1211 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikePio View Post
- Soundstage is not that expansive, very closed
Soundstage is realistic, not exaggerated..

Quote:
Balance is not optimal, some could complain about this
Agree. Pink noise is not even.

Quote:
Detailed but not super detailed...
I hear this all the time. What's missing? For me it's lower midrange presence, where the soul of the music resides.

Quote:
Bass is adequate for me, but others may want more punch
Bass has just a touch of punch. Punch should be in the music and be let through naturally. Not sure if this is happening. So I'm probably with you here.

Quote:
Sometimes sound may seem congested
Check your source.

Quote:
Sibilance may be an issue, not for my pair though...
Agree. Not in my pair.

Quote:
I am not sure what else is there to fault
It's too heavy. Lacks lower midrange presence, as mentioned above.

Quote:
Since some of these come down to personal preference, like the bass, soundstage etc... I am not sure what else to say, since this headphone easily has the goods to stand with best, considering the price at 600, find me something better?
It's a bargain, for sure!
post #1212 of 1668
Argh, so many reported flaws. I hope I like it more than my Edition 9's.
post #1213 of 1668
Don't fret, all headphones are flawed.
post #1214 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
Don't fret, all headphones are flawed.
Exactly!!! So what if they aren't perfect? They sound great. Relax, and enjoy.
post #1215 of 1668
Quote:
Originally Posted by wower View Post
@Currawong I have a soft spot for people in Japan since I lived there for 4 years, only coming back recently, some of it overlapping with you, but way up north. And you have a headphone blog for goodness sakes!

This "most people" in quotes is kind of disturbing because one of my hopes is to use this phone with large scale classical, for example, Tchaikovsky. So I fall into that exact category that will come across large complex passages on this phone. My priorities are increase sound-staging over my AD2000 and maybe increase neutrality (but some of this might be recording dependent because my source is up to snuff). Ultimately I want a different presentation. The congestion issue is also interesting because my AD2000s are very good at resolving complex passages (again might be recording dependent). But last point is kind of moot until I've heard the HE-5. I'm just getting sick of my AD2000s awkward sound stage. Vocals are friggn' IN MY HEAD. And everything else, while being extremely foot-tappingly musical, is not located anywhere. Meets are preferred, hopefully February.
I've heard much good about the AD-2000s and their speed. While I have tried them briefly, as thankfully one of the local electronics stores has a high-end headphone table with serious amps (Audio Technica and a Luxman P-1u!) along with some nice SACD players, I was more listening out for the tonality of them. They, like other ATs, are very mid-forward, which is why they sound like they do. I can't stand the AT house-sound for this reason, which is a shame, as I live in AT-land!

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I amended that a little - that an SR-404LE connected to an eXStatA DIY amp would be about $1,100 and would compete well with and maybe beat the $899 EF5/HE-5 combo (before adding cost of the DAC). The problem is in the rarity of the eXStatA amp, as it is still in the second round of beta testing. I don't know if substituting a vintage SRM-1 Mk2 Pro amp for a similar price would sound as good, since the eXStatA is much more powerful (it can drive Stax O2 well and SRM-1 Mk2 Pro cannot).
I think that once I've built my eXSTatA that things will indeed once again sway in this direction for me as well going by reports. I might have to pick up a uDAC some time to find out just how good it is and because when I'm travelling in the future it'd come in handy.
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